Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration – FAQs and How You Can Help
Learn more about Indian Ridge and more of our special fundraising initiatives at https://mountauburn.org/give/special-projects/.
What is happening at Indian Ridge?
Mount Auburn has undertaken a 3-year project to restore the landscape along Indian Ridge, one of our oldest and most significant areas. With more than 15,000 new plants, the project will promote wildlife habitat and biological diversity, while enhancing the site’s natural beauty.
Why is this project necessary?
Restoring the landscape along Indian Ridge will elevate an already beloved area to new levels of excellence, both visually and as a wildlife habitat.
Located near the main entrance, Indian Ridge is one of our most popular areas to walk, offering a mix of the history, natural beauty, and wildlife that make Mount Auburn so special. It is also already a prime birdwatching spot during the spring migration each year, as a destination for neotropical warblers who stop at Mount Auburn to feed before heading north to Canada.
However, the area lacks cohesion and is overwhelmed with invasive plants which offer few resources for insects or birds. Given the already high level of migratory bird activity, we made it a priority to create a landscape design that adds both visual appeal and plant diversity – especially native plants to better serve native wildlife species – to the area.
What will the new landscape look like, and how will it improve Indian Ridge’s habitat?
Our plan was inspired by one of the best features of the current landscape: a series of white-flowered trees each spring. The new design will expand on this with a dramatic progression of 21 new flowering trees including Silverbell and Redbud.
New masses of shrubs will provide much-needed “thickets” for birds while protecting slopes against erosion. The new flowering trees will create a corridor of habitat-friendly plants with lush foliage, flowers, and fruit. Other new trees (White Oak and Shadblow) will provide food and shelter for dozens of species of birds and mammals. And areas currently dominated by turf grass or bare ground (like the Auburn Lake crypt roofs) will be transformed with more diverse native plants. Indian Ridge will also connect with other areas we have already restored to create a larger, cohesive habitat across the Cemetery’s historic core.
What’s the project timeline?
In late 2019 and early 2020, we removed a number of invasive species, including several Norway Maples, which have been crowding out more habitat-friendly native plants for many years.
Replanting along the slopes was completed ahead of schedule in the spring and summer of 2020.
In the spring and summer of 2021, we will complete replanting along the path itself and create two green roofs atop the Auburn Lake Crypts, transforming the plain gravel roofs into an integral part of the improved landscape with habitat benefits of their own.
Finally, a third phase in 2022 will incorporate exciting new designs by consultant Larry Weaner to replace turf grass beside the path with habitat-friendly wildflowers.
How can I help?
You can help make our vision for Indian Ridge a reality by making a special gift to the project! Your tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Mount Auburn will support the costs of these new plantings, plus the ever-important care that they will need in their critical early years to ensure that the landscape can flourish long into the future.
To make a gift online, please visit https://mountauburn.org/give/special-projects/ and select “Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration.” Thank you for your support!